Each year now, as the days shorten and the weather cools, thoughts of school days return. When you think of learning, your mind may make a direct link to schooling and imagine classrooms and teachers. Yet, it is also important to recognize the value of the learning that is taking place in our lives each day.
There are four phases involved in the learning of any competency: Learn, Establish, Enhance, and Develop. To help remember this approach, consider the acronym “LEED”:
As you read the explanations below, think about something you have learned and how you have learned it. This can include any type of activity such as: facilitating a meeting, writing computer-programming languages, developing your leadership capability or managing your career!
Phase 1: Learn the Foundations
The acquisition phase refers to the development of the basic competencies required through formal learning activities. These activities often take place through formal schooling, training, or apprenticeship programs. This is what we traditionally think of as ‘learning’.
Phase 2: Establish Your Learning
At this stage you will have completed formal education (or training) and need occasional professional help to integrate the learning into practice.
There are some learning strategies that can be used in this phase:
- Supervision in the field / coaching
- Becoming a protégé
The supports for this learning phase may include:
- Your immediate supervisor or manager
- A senior employee / work colleague
Phase 3: Enhance Your Learning
In this phase you have established competency and can hone skills to keep up with new developments in the field.
Learning strategies you can use in this phase include:
- Supervision in field
- Self-directed learning
Approaches for this phase include:
- Conferences and workshops
- Books and journals
- Networking / colleague assistance
- Audio/video analysis
- Personal journaling
- In-house colleagues
- External colleagues
Phase 4: Develop Others
Here you have mastered all required skills and may choose one or both of the following strategies. First, to create new methods or second, to assist others in the development of their skills.
Learning strategies that can be used to implement this phase include:
- Self-directed innovation
- Learning through facilitation and / or coaching of others
Approaches for this phase include:
- Peer observation
- Formal teaching
In my work, I have found that people often underutilize the strategies in phases three and four. As you consider your learning options, I encourage you to reflect on the competencies you wish to develop and identify which phase you are at now. It is helpful to ask yourself: Are you are starting from scratch on a particular competency? Is formal training the most effective route to learn, or do you know enough already that you could apply your current knowledge with support? If you are considering formal learning, do you have enough resources to apply and personalize the learning? Is there someone who can provide 1:1 coaching to help you move the next step? Review the learning phases outlined here. Ask yourself these questions and you will enrich your work!
Need Career Help?
I help people who desire to change their job or career in any way. To start this process, people need an action plan. My “Career Action Plan” session promises to get to the root of any career problem. I provide a concrete plan to get the problem fixed. People become empowered to take action because they have a plan designed for them. Contact me to book your session!
Photo courtesy of ThoseGuys119